Split second timing is sometimes needed to get that photo opportunity

humpback whale tail photo sequence

There are times when you have the luxury of time to plan a photography session, set up on a tripod, calculate and test the lighting and snap some pics.

But often times the moment just happens… right now!

You have to rely on instinct, split second timing, on your experience and hold that shutter pressed to max out your multi-image burst run. Then hope that you managed to get at least one good pic!

We were on a 12 passenger zodiak, the fog was really thick, so much so that we could only hear the whales and could not see them unless they came in close, or as some did, swam under the boat.

Then the heavy fog lifted somewhat that we started spotting some common and minke whales. There were quite a few around us, nearly a dozen or so, the captain stopped the engines and pointed out on the horizon, we held our breath for a few seconds in anticipation, then a humpback whale called Blanche Neige showed some tail in the St-Lawrence estuary! Good thing the water was calm, because it was low lighting conditions, my shutter speed was maxed out, add some waves to the mix and it would have been a mess. The photo is grainy and patchy but it just adds a little something to the special moment in time.

post-timing-2In nature photography you try to anticipate the animal’s next move, somehow predicting what it will do next to get the shot. This next photo was a frantic situation, because there were Puffins all over the place, landing, taking off, it was hard to focus and try to anticipate what was coming up next. So I kept my attention on a nearby ledge, that had a couple of cloned puffins grouped together and all of a sudden, one comes flying over the bunch, hovers for a second or two, long enough for me to take the shot and lands in the middle somehow finding room!

I enjoy the calm set up photo shoot, but I have to admit a successful split second timing photo burst, resulting in a good crop of images is quite the rush.

Happy image hunting.






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